GearComments Off on SteadXP+ First Look Review – A Promising Camera Stabilization System
Five years ago, a little company from France called SteadXP shook the Internet with a “game-changing” small box and stabilization technology made for GoPro and DSLR/Mirrorless cameras. This box attaches to your camera and records all the motion data of your camera so that you can stabilize your footage in post-production. The concept was revolutionary back in the days. Nowadays, with action cameras that feature in-body image stabilization that works just as well – if not better –, SteadXP is trying to move to the cinema market with SteadXP+. But is this product and technology still relevant? Let’s take a closer look at it in this hands-on review.
Last week, we published our long “mirrorless camera of the year” post, and while there have been MANY contenders, the Panasonic S1 came out on top for its perfect price/performance ratio. And Panasonic seems really happy about this result – they got in touch offering an exclusive $400 discount for cinema5D readers, plus the V-Log Filmmaker Upgrade worth $199 for free!
I recently reviewed the MC series and the new 300D MK II and it seemed like an oversight to not spend more time with the 120D II. As a longtime user of the first generation 120D, I was particularly interested in the design updates in the second generation. Is it worth upgrading? Or, if you own the original 120D are you okay waiting? Let’s dive in.
On paper, the 120D MK II boasts a 25% output improvement over the MK I and it also balances out of the box to 5500 kelvin, versus the 6000 kelvin of the first generation. You could always correct that 400 Kelvin difference in the older version to “standard daylight” using gels, but I prefer a fixture that works out of the box in either 32K or 56K as it’s just easier to use in most situations and matches other light brands better. Also, color temp correction gels are feeling a little old school these days given the ubiquity of RGB panels that allow precise kelvin color temperatures to be dialed in with a quick button press.
GearComments Off on Panasonic S1 & Canon FD lenses – Full Frame, 10-bit Recording Kit Under $3500
Are you playing with the thought to enter into the 10-bit full frame filmmaking world but think it’s prohibitively expensive? Here is a sub $3500 suggestion. If you are willing to invest money and time, the combination of working with the Panasonic S1 equipped with Canon’s FD lenses is fun and a good reason to collect some older items too.
Panasonic S1 with the Canon FD 35mm f2 lens. Image credit: Gunther Machu
If you are like me, an enthusiast hobbyist who is digging the full frame look but don’t want to go back to 8-bit codecs, then I’m sure we are sharing the same dilemma. I’ve started filming 10 years ago with a Panasonic GH1 and later moved to the original BMPCC camera but the full frame “look” always fascinated me and 8 vs 10-bit became a deal breaker when choosing my next camera.
My Wish List When Considering a Camera
a full frame sensor camera to get this creamy shallow depth of field with fast primes
a robust 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal codec
the cam has a LOG image picture profile that provides good dynamic range and is flexible enough for grading in post
in body image (sensor) stabilization (IBIS) would be great
the audio department should provide good sound quality with a headphone output, of course
a good viewfinder and/or screen is mandatory
decent battery life
lenses should cover wides and moderate tele and should be fast (below f4, ideally f2) – otherwise you would defy the purpose to go for full frame
in addition, the lenses should provide robust mechanics, a buttery smooth focus throw to allow for precise manual focus adjustment with hard stops at close and infinity focus
I don’t like messing with rigs, external recorders, HDMI cables, and all the auxiliary stuff and need a compact footprint
As a hobbyist, I just don’t want to spend more than $3500 all in all
GearComments Off on QooCam 8K – The World’s Smallest 8K 360 Camera
Kandao has launched the world’s smallest 8K 360 camera. The QooCam 8K offers 8K 10-bit video up to 200Mbps at 30fps and 4K at up to 120fps.
Kandao 8K – Image source cinema5D
I’ve been using the original QooCam for about a year. I’m also using the Insta360 One X and have used the Insta360 One before that. However, there’s two things that have been holding me back. The first thing I’ve been waiting for is 8K in an affordable, accessible 360 camera. The second thing is 10-bit video encoding at high bit-rates (something that also really needs to come to smartphones very soon). The fact is, 8K is really a minimum to capture a full 360 with sufficient detail and clarity. QooCam has delivered this and more with the QooCam 8K.
GearComments Off on SIGMA fp LOG Picture Profile and RAW Output Recording via HDMI Coming Next Year
During Inter BEE 2019, we had the chance to talk with SIGMA about the upcoming firmware update for the fp camera. We’ve been told that a firmware update will bring exciting new video features such as in-camera playback of cinemaDNG footage, and something that a lot of shooters are waiting for: a LOG picture profile and RAW output video recording via HDMI. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers
Blind Spot Gear, the British company specialized in niche products for filmmakers, just released its 7th Kickstarter campaign: the Power Cage & Bracket. This 10.000 mAh power bank with 45W of power output is designed with filmmakers in mind. The Power Cage features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 7.2V DC barrel to power your camera and your accessories. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Blind Spot Gear
Blind Spot Gear is a British company well-known for launching innovative products on the market via Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this year, they successfully launched the Crack Light. In the past, they also released the Scorpion Light V2, the Tile Light Duo, and the Power Junkie – you can watch our review here – which is a tiny and convenient Sony NP-F style batterie distribution box.
Nowadays, cameras and accessories require a lot of power to run for hours. Small internal batteries don’t get the job done; this is especially true with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4Kand 6K, Sony mirrorless cameras, and so on. To solve that problem, you can run your camera and accessories with a V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery. But, this kind of external power source is expensive and quite bulky.
GearComments Off on ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses Add More Character to Supreme Line
ZEISS Supreme Prime cine lenses might not be the go-to glass for an average indie job but these lenses certainly are a cutting-edge state of the art pieces of technology. The latest addition to the family goes by the name ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance. Optically superb, yet slightly warmer and with added character.
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance Lenses. (image credit: ZEISS)
This new line of high-end cine lenses comes in seven focal lengths to start with: 21mm / 25mm / 29mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm and 100mm. All of them share the same specs other than focal length:
fast T1.5 aperture
length: 119mm (4.7″) / front to PL mount flange
95mm (3.7″) front diameter
weight: 1.22 kg (3.13 lbs) -> 50mm up to 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs) -> 100mm
close focus (from image plane): 0.26 m (10″) -> 25mm up to 1.1m (3’9″) -> 100mm
new T* blue coating
These are the facts, but what’s the story?
ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance
These new lenses are branded Radiance, as in Glow or Luminosity, even Vibrancy, maybe. According to ZEISS, they produce a slightly warmer overall look in comparison to the original Supreme Primes. However, the real magic here is how these Radiance lenses handle flares. The cinematographer should be able to obtain control if and how a given lens is flaring and to use these ‘optical errors’ to a creative benefit. And that’s exactly the promise of the new T* blue coating.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on FilmConvert Camera Pack for Panasonic LUMIX S1 and S1H Now Available
FilmConvert has announced the addition of a new camera pack for the Panasonic S1 and S1H cameras. If you are a FilmConvert Pro or FilmConvert Nitrate user, you can download these new profiles for free. Let’s take a closer look
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Sensor with 5K/30P and 4K/60P 10-Bit Video Internally
Leica has announced its new L-Mount full-frame mirrorless camera. The Leica SL2 features a 47MP full-frame CMOS sensor with 5-axis image stabilization. It is capable of recording 5K video at up to 30fps, 4K video at up to 60fps, and FullHD video at up to 180fps, all in 10-bit H.264. The camera features a high-resolution EVF, full-size HDMI port, two 3.5mm jack ports for headphones and microphone, and an all-metal magnesium body. It will be available from November 21st, 2019 for $5,995.
It has already been four years since the German premium brand introduced its Leica SL full-frame mirrorless camera. Our Leica SL review and Lab test articles from 2015 are a good reminder of its video capabilities. The newly announced Leica SL2 promises to bring even more video-oriented features. Let’s take a look!
Leica SL2 – 47MP Full-Frame Stabilized Sensor
The new Leica SL2 features a 47.3MP 3:2 full-frame CMOS sensor and Maestro III image processor, which enables up to 20 fps continuous stills shooting with an electronic shutter, 10 fps with a mechanical shutter, and 6 fps with a mechanical shutter and AF-C, for up to 78 consecutive DNG files with a color depth of 14 bits per RGB channel. The sensor features a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, which minimizes the appearance of camera shakes when shooting handheld.
GearComments Off on Blackmagic Camera 6.6 Firmware for BMPCC 4K and 6K Released
Blackmagic Design is continuously working hard to improve its BMPCC 4K and BMPCC 6K video cameras, and they now released a new firmware update: Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This update unlocks a couple of new recording modes, a built-in camera horizon tool, improvements to the autofocus performances, and many other features. Let’s take a closer look at it!
Image credit: Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6
Blackmagic Design has now announced a new firmware update for its BMPCC 4K and 6K models called Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6. This firmware update improves a lot of features on both Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras including:
Added support for Blackmagic Pocket Battery Grip. The Battery Grip was announced during NAB 2019, and support up to two Sony NP-F style batteries for extended battery life.
Added support for language localization.
Added support for built-in camera horizon tool. This feature is useful for making sure your camera is perfectly level.
Added support for pinch to zoom up to 8x magnification.
USB PTP control support.
You now can type in customized frame guide ratios; you have no limit anymore to the built-in ones.
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on Panasonic S1H Lab Test – Dynamic Range and Rolling Shutter Results
Finally, we were able to put the Panasonic S1H to the test in our cinema5D lab. Looking at the various frame rates and resolutions, as well as the full frame and Super 35 modes of this camera, this turned out to be quite an endeavour. Ready for a lab marathon? Read on…
I have long waited for the day to come when I would be able to put the Panasonic S1H through our lab test procedures. I sold my Sony a7S II a while ago expecting a successor to be announced soon, now finding myself impatient in the waiting position for my next camera purchase … will this cam be it?
Spoiler alert: lab results are very impressive – the Panasonic S1H is the first camera in our tests, that shows nearly identical dynamic range results for the two ISO settings of the dual gain sensor! I will share most of the results in detail with you, so this is going to be a long read. Sorry about that…
As described by my colleagues Nino, Jeff, and Johnnie in detail here, the Panasonic S1H is designed with a “video first” mindset by Panasonic and ticks a lot of my personal boxes. I was even hoping for an internal ProRes recording option, but dream on my friends (just to be clear, Panasonic and Atomos are working together in delivering 5.9K ProRes RAW data output to Atomos Ninja V recorder. More info can be found here).
GearComments Off on Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens Announced – Popular Ultra-Wide Comeback
Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF is a new ultra-wide-angle APS-C lens based on Tokina’s long seller – the AT-X 116 PRO DX II model. It comes in two versions to fit both Canon EF and Nikon F DSLR cameras. The lens features internal focus, water-repellent coating, one-touch focus clutch mechanism, and 77mm front filter thread. It offers overall good optical performance with a lightweight body at an affordable price – $449.
The original AT-X 116 PRO DX II 11-16mm f/2.8 lens from Tokina was the ultra-wide angle lens of choice for many filmmakers and photographers. It was a very good deal and especially filmmakers liked the lens for many reasons – it offered constant aperture f/2.8, front filter thread, lightweight design, and a friendly price tag. The new Tokina atx-i 11-16mm kind of builds on its success.
Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF Lens
Based on the widely popular AT-X 116 PRO DX II, the model atx-i 11-16mm F2.8 CF is designed and optimized for contemporary APS-C sensor DSLR cameras in terms of improved specifications and renovated design.
Together with its predecessor, it is the only f/2.8 fast ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for APS-C sized DSLR cameras in the current market. A constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range is useful for low light environments, like interiors.
The Panasonic S1H is now finally available for purchasing and we took it for a spin in order to put it through its paces. If you are in a rush and have no time to continue reading, here is my conclusion first: Currently it is the best mirrorless camera that can shoot video in the market. Of course, no filming device is perfect, but any manufacturer who would like to produce something even better will have to work harder to achieve this. Ready to dive into details? Keep on reading.
Zhiyun has just announced their new handheld gimbal for mirrorless and DSLR cameras: the Zhiyun Weebill-S. This fresh stabilizer is a follow-up to the previous Weebill LAB, but it is not a replacement. Overall, the one-of-his-kind design is similar between the two. If it works, don’t fix it.
GearComments Off on Nikon Releases NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens – World’s Fastest Z-Mount Lens
Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct manual-focus lens, which is currently the fastest lens for the Z-Mount and one of the world’s fastest lenses ever. It covers full-frame sensors, offers a function button, and comes with a dedicated case. This unique lens is now available for pre-order for slightly under $8,000.
NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens released. Image credit: Nikon
Nikon works hard to extend their mirrorless Z-mount lineup. The Japanese company recently announced the new APS-C camera Nikon Z50 along with two new budget DX lenses. Nikon also released an announcement including the fastest lens in the Z-mount lineup – NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens. Let’s take a look at its features.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens
The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is an ultra-fast, standard prime, manual-focus lens for the Nikon Z mount system’s full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless cameras – the Z 6 and Z 7. It takes advantage of the large-diameter (inner diameter of 55 mm) of Z-mount and 16 mm flange focal distance to realize an f/0.95 maximum aperture.
Action cams, GearComments Off on Sirui Swift M1 and Swift P1 Gimbals for Smartphones and Mirrorless Cameras
Sirui is launching an Indiegogo campaign for two new compact gimbals: the Sirui Swift M1 and Sirui Swift P1. The Sirui Swift M1 is designed for smartphones only, while the Swift P1 can take smartphones and mirrorless cameras up to 900 grams. Let’s take a closer look at these new stabilizers!
Image credit: Sirui
Sirui Swift M1 Gimbal for Smartphones
The Sirui Swift M1 is a gimbal for smartphones that is lightweight at just 498 grams/1.1 lbs, and that can take a maximum load of 300 grams/0.66 lbs. As a reference, the iPhone 11 Pro Max weight 226 grams. The gimbal folds down in two and has an internal non-removable battery that should last for 6 hours, according to Sirui. There are locking buttons on every axis, so the gimbal won’t move when you transport it.
On the front of the Sirui Swift M1, there is a little OLED display that shows you the mode you are in. Below the screen, there is a control jog and four buttons: functions/menu/record/power. On the back of the gimbal, there is a little trigger button to reset all the axis. On the left side, there is a small dial to adjust the roll axis or change modes.
There’s nothing extraordinary on the hardware side, so what makes this gimbal different?
GearComments Off on Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 – New Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K
Kinotehnik just introduced their new LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K. It features 200% magnification, AR coated and optically corrected lens, magnetic frame, and 46mm threading to attach diopter correction lenses.
LCDVF BM5 viewfinder for BMPCC 4K and 6K. Image credit: Kinotehnik
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras 4K (our review) and 6K (our review) have gotten very popular among filmmakers. They offer great image quality with solid codecs for a very affordable price. Numerous third-party accessories for this camera have already been released to compensate for these cameras’ downsides – particularly battery life and support for SSD media. When it comes to ergonomy, another downside of BMPCC 4K and 6K is the absence of a viewfinder.
While Kinotehnik claims their LCDVF BM5 is a world’s first viewfinder for the BMPCC 4K and 6K, I personally know filmmakers who have been using viewfinder from a Brazilian company GRID with their BMPCC 4K. To be fair, GRID 5.0 viewfinder is quite expensive at $241 and the distribution might be a bit problematic. My point is, that Kinotehnik LCDVF BM5 certainly isn’t the world’s first in this regard.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on SIGMA fp Camera Cage – Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Soon to be Available
KABUTO FP1 from Taipan Cinema is the first cage system for the upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp. It features a modular design with many ¼-20 UNC, 3/8-16 UNC mounting threads and ARRI 2-pin anti-rotation mount. It also includes T5 SSD holder and a cold shoe adapter without blocking any of the camera’s functions.
KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp. Image credit: Taipan Cinema
The compact full-frame mirrorless camera SIGMA fp is coming very soon. Now we know it is going to be priced slightly under $2,000. My colleague Johnnie was testing the camera in Japan and his early hands-on impressions article is coming very soon. In the meantime, Taipan Cinema introduced the first cage for this camera.
The Italian camera accessories company Taipan Cinema is focusing mostly on cages and rigs for popular cameras. They usually react very quickly and introduce first cages and rigging solutions to newly announced cameras – like with the EXO cage for DJI Osmo Pocket. This time Taipan Cinema most likely took advantage of the published 3D models of SIGMA fp camera and they introduced the first cage for the fp – KABUTO FP-1. What are its features?
Taipan KABUTO FP-1 Cage for SIGMA fp
KABUTO FP-1 cage features a modular design and is mounted on the camera like a mask, from the front. The name is inspired by the battle helmets used by Samurais in ancient Japan.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on KIPON Releases PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses and Medium Format Lenses
KIPON announced a new PRO line of adapters for PL and LPL mount lenses and 0.7x speed boosters for selected medium format lenses. The adapters feature precisely manufactured bodies from strong stainless material and the possibility to add shim papers. They will be available for most popular mirrorless mounts – Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, EOS R-mount, L-mount, FUJIFILM G-mount, and RED cameras. The adapters are available now.
KIPON PRO cine adapters
The Shanghai-based company KIPON is known mainly for its lens adapters and affordable manual focus lenses. Back in March 2018, we informed you about their Canon-EF to FUJIFILM X-Mount autofocus adapters. Now KIPON releases a new PRO line of adapters. What kind of adapters are these exactly?
KIPON PRO Cine Adapters for PL and LPL Mount Lenses
First group of new PRO cine adapters from KIPON are adapters without an optical element. They are designed for PL and LPL mount cine lenses, so these adapters naturally do not support autofocus or aperture operation. They only support full manual operation.
All PRO adapters are manufactured with high precision using strong stainless material with very good abrasive resistance. KIPON says there will be no tolerance change for lens and body mount side even after years of use. There is also a possibility to add shim papers of various thicknesses to all PRO adapters to ensure precise (back-)focusing.